Bridges from the past restored for better transit in the future

Happy to have been quoted for this. Mentioned the wedding and my grandparents.

The Link

After nine weekends of work, the Lakeshore West bridge project is finally over.

The giant blue cranes are gone.

And that signals relief for both the Lakeshore West line and GO Transit customers – as we say ‘thank you for your patience’ during the historic work.

If you traveled along the train corridor on weekends this fall, you saw the congestion that comes with a mammoth construction project. The vital line was being worked on around the clock as crews put in a total of 40,000 combined work hours to bring new life to several century-old bridges and overpasses, some dating back to the Grand Trunk Railway era.

That Grand Trunk was once considered the largest railway in the world, and was the chief line between Montreal and Toronto.

Work involved restoration of six century-old bridges between Mimico and Exhibition GO, including the Humber River Bridge, which weighs 7,000 tonnes…

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Lakeshore West bridge work nears completion

Includes a great sunset picture.

The Link

Stunning video and photos of bridge construction along the Lakeshore West Corridor show some incredible engineering feats and indicate service disruptions will soon be coming to an end.

They’ve been working around the clock on weekends to bring life to century-old bridges and transform rail corridors for future GO Transit service expansion.

Construction crews have made significant progress along Lakeshore West and, while nearing completion, have been delighted to see history before their eyes. The work has included the removal of a 107-year-old bridge span, the rehabilitation of existing bridge piers and other parts that are more than 130 years old. For many of the crew members, the work is like a time capsule.

“It is fascinating to see how bridge construction methods have changed over time” said Michael Szewczyk, a project coordinator who’s been involved with the bridge work on the Lakeshore West Corridor.

For Szewczyk and his team…

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Good Foot Delivery service puts its best foot forward by using GO Transit

The Link

In Downtown Toronto, you might envision a priority courier as a cyclist in spandex, zipping around town, delivering documents from one office tower to another. Anywhere else, it’s likely a large company vehicle driving between locations and making quick stops to run packages to and from office parks.

There is another kind of priority courier service gaining in popularity though. It involves walking and taking transit to make pickups and deliveries.

Good Foot Delivery is one such service, but it’s also a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for people living with developmental disabilities.

“We look at ourselves as both a charity and as a business,” explained Ryan Hollinrake, Executive Director of Good Foot. “The charity and business aspects of our organization run systematically together. One couldn’t exist without the other.”

As a charity, Good Foot is able to direct 100 per cent of the revenues it receives from customers…

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Visualizing data helps us better understand how we move

Awesome to see my friend Anthony’s work profiled.

The Link

The idea of number-crunching and analyzing data may seem boring to some. For others though, processing information and turning it into something more is a passion.

Anthony Smith loves visualizing transit and transportation data with maps and animations. By doing so, he hopes his work can make a difference by providing an evidence-based approach to city planning.

“I think data gives a voice to everyone,” said Smith. “As an urban planner, I believe that using the data to inform how cities grow ensures efficient use of available resources for maximum public benefit.”

Anthony has been conducting data science and producing maps and infographics for more than ten years. While he does work at Metrolinx, he also spends a great deal of time creating images in his own time.

“It’s always exciting to discover a new dataset or visualization tool that I can use to create something,” said Smith. “Just last…

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A Gallery of Throwback Thursdays for 2017

Steve Munro

As a Christmas gift to all my readers here, this post is a gallery of the photos I put up on Twitter (@swanboatsteve) for “throwback Thursday” this year. I know that not everyone follows me on social media, and in any event, I wanted to assemble all of the photos in one convenient place.

There is no particular rhyme or reason to this collection beyond whatever happened to be a topic appropriate for the occasion.

Also, an apology to regular readers for the lack of updates, beyond promoting comments, recently. I have been distracted and many articles and ideas are marooned “in progress”. Over the holidays there should be no new political crises to attend to, and I hope to catch up.

Best wishes for the holidays to everyone!

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Pantographs Up On Harbourfront

Check out this post by Steve Munro on the TTC testing out the pantograph on their new streetcars. What’s the big deal Chris?

1) It’s looks cool;

2) It’ll improve reliability – the pole tends to pop off at intersections and during turns; and

3) What about the historic look of the pole? No problem – visit Halton County Radial Railway. It’s a museum. They have ice cream. It’s fun.

Steve Munro

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the TTC began operation of its new Flexity streetcars with pantograph power collection on the 509 Harbourfront route. This is a short, comparatively isolated route running entirely with Flexitys where problems, if any, can be ironed out on a small piece of the network. Any off route moves including carhouse trips are done with trolley poles, and the normal changeover point between modes is at Exhibition Loop.

Here is a small set of photos of the route.

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Upgraded Trail to be Reopened Mid-September, Pending 3rd Party Work”

Great to see this update with a timeframe for the trail to re-open.

Lower Don Trail Construction Updates

Metrolinx has issued permits for third-party work required before City contractors can complete the trail work. The third-party work includes a cable utility relocation at the new Belleville Underpass, and the trail crossing over the active rail line by the new Pottery Road trail bridge. The rail crossing work can only happen on weekends due to weekday commuter rail traffic.

Meanwhile, City contractors are assembling all the plant material and new soil required for site restoration and enhancements, ready to mobilize when the third-party providers have completed their work in the next few weeks. Re-grading and paving the affected portions of trail will be the last step.

Plans are coming together for a re-opening event and celebration of Toronto’s ravines in September. It will be announced here, and we hope you will join us to ride, walk, and enjoy the new connections and underpass.

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